How to Motivate People

by Dennis McCallum

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Before considering how to motivate people, we have to settle two important questions.
1) What is motivation in the Christian context?
2) What does a motivated person look like?

The answer we give to these questions will absolutely limit and channel our efforts to motivate others. My suggested definition of motivation is:

People are motivated when they are convinced of the correctness and the urgency of Christian goals to the extent that they are eager to act, and keep acting, to reach those goals regardless of what others do or think.

In the early stages of motivation, people may also need emotional support or arousal from others to promote action. But we cannot say people are motivated in the true sense unless they carry on for their own reasons, with, or without support from others. Likewise, those who act without understanding why they act may be motivated according to the world, but not according to the Bible. Unless we work through people's understanding and consent, we may be manipulating rather than motivating.

A. Convincing people our goals are right

B. Convincing people of the urgency of our goals

C. Problem resolution - overcoming hurdles to motivation

D. Nurturing Ongoing Motivation

When our people are motivated in a thorough and biblical way, rather than a superficial way based on "monkey see, monkey do" or a fad mentality, true duplication and group replication become possible. But if we depend on sociological manipulation, people will lose their motivation the minute we let them out of our sight, and we will not dare to release them into their own ministries.

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